There are eight games on tonight’s slate as we enter the final week of the NHL regular season. The Rangers and Flames are skating in the second half of back-to-back’s after picking up wins against Philadelphia and San Jose, respectively; Toronto, Tampa Bay, Colorado, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Los Angeles all play tomorrow as well.
TONIGHT’S SCHEDULE: Teams that could greatly benefit from or need points in tonight’s matchups include Washington, Toronto, the Islanders, Colorado, St. Louis and Winnipeg. The team with the most to lose is Colorado, arguably followed by Winnipeg and Washington since the Jets and Capitals need to do what they can to secure first place in their respective divisions. A Washington loss and an Islanders win would bring the Islanders within one point of the Capitals for first in the Metropolitan; however, on the other side of that matchup, Toronto can clinch a playoff berth with at least one point. Today’s schedule is color-coded based on the importance of tonight’s games.
WSH @ FLA – 7:00pm EST
TOR @ NYI – 7:00pm EST
NYR @ NJD – 7:00pm EST
TBL @ OTT – 7:30pm EST
COL @ STL – 8:00pm EST
WPG @ CHI – 8:30pm EST
EDM @ VGK – 10:00pm EST
CGY @ LAK – 10:00pm EST
Out of playoff picture
Clinched specific seed in round one
Playing for playoff positioning
Fighting for playoff spot
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: Patrice Bergeron tallied a short-handed assist on Brad Marchand’s goal, adding three shots for 14.8 FanDuel and 4.5 DraftKings fantasy points. Mark Giordano had a similar effort, coming away with 14.4 FD and 4 DK FP thanks to an assist and four blocks in Calgary’s Western Conference-clinching win against the Sharks. All three Red Wings skaters listed as options in the FanDuel core found the scoresheet, as did the extra two listed in the DraftKings core. Anthony Mantha led the way with three goals, two assists and eight shots, good for 65.8 FD and 18.5 DK FP. Tyler Bertuzzi tallied three assists for 28.2 FD and 7 DK FP, while Dylan Larkin scored a goal and an assist and came away with 26.4 FD and 7 DK FP. Both members of the second line also picked up points; Andreas Athanasiou managed two assists, one shot and one block for 19.7 FD and 5 DK FP, while Taro Hirose scored his first career NHL goal, adding four shots and two blocks for 21.6 FD and 6 DK FP. Victor Olofsson only managed one shot for 1.6 FD FP, though his ownership was quite high, as expected. Oliver Bjorkstrand extended his goal streak to five games with a goal and six shots for 21.6 FD and 6 DK FP. Artemi Panarin was an alternative suggestion, though he and the rest of his linemates had a quiet night; he managed just one shot for 0.5 DK FP, though Bjorkstrand was my preferred Columbus play. In net, Jaroslav Halak had a tough night, finishing slightly in the red on both sites. However, he was the chalk goalie on FanDuel, which minimized the effect of his bad night. That being said, Sergei Bobrovsky recorded a 38-save shutout for 50.4 FD and 12.6 DK FP, and Matt Murray defeated Curtis McElhinney and the Carolina Hurricanes, picking up 37.6 FD and 9.4 DK FP.
Note: My DK cash lineup did not save properly, so I only have results from my GPP (I’ve included the DET players I used below, not including Jimmy Howard, who earned 6.2 DK FP). The DK cash line I entered was: Bergeron, Larkin, Bertuzzi, Bjorkstrand, Hirose, Giordano, Savard, Murray, Hertl.
Connor McDavid (FD: $9,300; DK: $7,400) and the Edmonton Oilers will take on a somewhat depleted Knights roster that likely will be without second-line center Paul Stastny. Since the Knights are locked in as the third seed in the Pacific Division, tonight’s game doesn’t hold much meaning for Vegas, aside from the fact that the team needs to right the ship before the playoffs after dropping five straight games. Even with Marc-Andre Fleury potentially returning to Vegas’ crease, McDavid is a stud and has had success against the Knights over the last two seasons. Specifically, he has four goals and 12 points in seven games against his division rival, including two goals and four points in three games against Vegas this season. McDavid centers Edmonton’s top line and top power-play unit and is averaging 20.4 FanDuel and 5.4 DraftKings fantasy points per game this season. He has seven goals and 18 points in his last 10 games. Update: Malcolm Subban is starting for Vegas; Fleury will serve as his backup.
There are several other solid elite options, including Auston Matthews (FD: $8,800; DK: $7,000) and Aleksander Barkov (FD: $8,000; DK: $6,400), two centers who have been highlighted consistently throughout the season. But one player who may fly under the radar tonight is Mika Zibanejad (FD: $7,000; DK: $6,600), who will face the rival Devils on the road. Zibanejad has had impressive numbers against New Jersey this season, scoring three goals and eight points in three contests. He skates on New York’s first line and first power-play unit, and while MacKenzie Blackwood has shown glimpses this season of being New Jersey’s future No. 1 goaltender, he’s still given up 19 goals in his last five starts. Zibanejad enters tonight’s game with points in four straight, scoring two goals and five points in that stretch. He’s not a top play for me tonight, but he’s worth considering, especially if you’re looking for an under-owned stack for GPP/hybrid lines.
FanDuel: Auston Matthews ($8,800), Nathan MacKinnon ($8,600), John Tavares ($8,300), Aleksander Barkov ($8,000), William Karlsson ($6,700), Ryan O’Reilly ($6,600), Brock Nelson ($5,900), Mathew Barzal ($5,500), Casey Cizikas ($3,700)
DraftKings: Nathan MacKinnon ($7,100), Auston Matthews ($7,000), John Tavares ($6,900), Jonathan Toews ($6,500), Aleksander Barkov ($6,400), Ryan O’Reilly ($6,200), William Karlsson ($5,700), Nicklas Backstrom ($5,600), Mathew Barzal ($5,400), Brock Nelson ($5,300), Colin White ($3,500), Derek Ryan ($3,100)
Nikita Kucherov (FD: $9,200; DK: $7,900) and the Tampa Bay Lightning don’t have a whole lot to play for tonight against the Senators, but that doesn’t mean Kucherov won’t be chalky and isn’t worth targeting. Ottawa is a much better team than most give them credit for, but the Lightning are coming off a disappointing loss to the Capitals and could still potentially set a record for the best season in NHL history. That being said, the team has changed all its lines ahead of tonight’s matchup, making it tricky to know who to target. That’s not an issue for Kucherov, though, since he thrives regardless of whom he plays with. He will continue to skate with Brayden Point on the second line at even strength and is a fixture on the right wall of Tampa’s power play. Kucherov leads the NHL in scoring with 39 goals and 122 points; I think there’s a good chance he hits the 40-goal plateau tonight, and he’s always a threat for a multi-point game. Kucherov is averaging 20.3 FanDuel and 5.4 DraftKings fantasy points per game this season and has eight goals and 14 points in his last 10 games. There’s still a chance he’ll see limited ice time, though, so that’s definitely a risk factor worth considering.
Alex Ovechkin (FD: $9,000; DK: $7,800) is another elite winger option on tonight’s slate. The Capitals need two points in tonight’s matchup, though it will be difficult considering the Panthers are not an easy out. Ovi has just one assist in two games against Florida this season, which isn’t a promising stat. That being said, he’s always capable of putting up huge numbers and likely won’t have massive ownership compared to Kucherov tonight if you’re looking for a lower-owned play. Ovechkin currently sits at 51 goals on the season and has 11 points in his last 10 games. He is averaging 19.3 FanDuel and 5.3 DraftKings fantasy points per game this season.
A third elite winger option is Leon Draisaitl (FD: $8,400; DK: $7,300), who will take on the Knights tonight in Vegas. Draisaitl is having a career year and is just three goals away from hitting 50 on the season, which would be an incredible accomplishment for the 23-year-old forward. He skates on Edmonton’s top line and top power-play unit and is averaging 17.9 FanDuel and 4.8 DraftKings fantasy points per game. He has six goals and 15 points in his last 10 games and two goals and four points in three games against the Knights this season.
Reilly Smith (FD: $6,300; DK: $6,000) has points in six out of his last eight games and has managed one goal and five points in three games against the Oilers this season. He skates on Vegas’ first line and first power-play unit and has six goals and 12 points in his last 10 games.
If Paul Stastny is unable to play tonight, Tomas Nosek (FD: $3,200; DK: $2,500) will make for a great value play since he’ll likely take Stastny’s spot on the second line and second power-play unit. Nosek hasn’t had a great season, but it’s hard to beat that value considering he’ll skate with Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone and will see time on the power play.
FanDuel: Vladimir Tarasenko ($7,700), Jonathan Huberdeau ($7,700), Gabriel Landeskog ($7,100), Jonathan Marchessault ($6,900), Alex DeBrincat ($6,800), Anders Lee ($6,300), Evgenii Dadonov ($6,200), Brady Tkachuk ($6,000), David Perron ($5,700), Anthony Duclair ($4,300), Kasperi Kapanen ($4,200), Alexander Kerfoot ($4,100), Blake Coleman ($4,000), Miles Wood ($3,700), Carl Grundstrom ($3,500), Mathieu Joseph ($3,400)
DraftKings: Vladimir Tarasenko ($6,700), Gabriel Landeskog ($6,600), Jonathan Huberdeau ($6,500), Mark Stone ($6,300), Jonathan Marchessault ($6,200), Alex DeBrincat ($5,900), Evgenii Dadonov ($5,800), David Perron ($5,400), Chris Kreider ($5,300), Brady Tkachuk ($5,200), Anders Lee ($4,900), Pavel Buchnevich ($4,500), Jordan Eberle ($4,400), William Nylander ($4,300), Anthony Duclair ($3,800), Alexander Kerfoot ($3,300), Zack Kassian ($3,000), Zack Smith ($2,700), Brian Gibbons ($2,500)
Mikhail Sergachev (FD: $4,100; DK: $4,100) will skate on Tampa Bay’s top power-play unit tonight with Victor Hedman on the shelf for the rest of the regular season. Sergachev has two points in three games against Ottawa this season and enters tonight’s game with four assists in his last two games.
Additional options will be discussed in chat.
FanDuel: Erik Gustafsson ($6,200), Tyson Barrie ($6,200), Dustin Byfuglien ($5,400), Thomas Chabot ($5,200), Oscar Klefbom ($5,200), Ryan McDonagh ($5,100), Shea Theodore ($4,700), Ryan Pulock ($4,400), Rasmus Andersson ($4,000), Dylan DeMelo ($3,900), Vince Dunn ($3,900), Devon Toews ($3,500)
DraftKings: John Carlson ($6,300), Dustin Byfuglien ($6,100), Erik Gustafsson ($5,700), Thomas Chabot ($5,500), Oscar Klefbom ($5,100), Shea Theodore ($5,000), Ryan Pulock ($4,700), Aaron Ekblad ($4,400), Vince Dunn ($3,900), Devon Toews ($3,400), Travis Dermott ($2,500), Calle Rosen ($2,500)
Goalies will be discussed in chat once starters have been confirmed.
Join us in the FTA+ discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and core plays.
Featured image credit: Getty Images